News in Brief 07 July 2016 (PM)

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On 11 January 2016 in Madaya, Rural Damascus, a girl eats bread, as she and other children and their families wait for permissions to leave the besieged town. Photo: UNICEF/UN07224/Al Saleh, WFP

5.5m people still in hard to reach areas in Syria

Unhindered access to deliver aid to around 5.5 million people in Syria is being urged by the United Nations as the conflict there continues.

The UN says that since the beginning of the year it has provided relief to more than 940,000 Syrian civilians living in dire humanitarian need in besieged, hard-to-reach and other priority areas.

But UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric says more access is needed.

"The UN continues to call for unconditional, unimpeded and sustained access to the 5.47 million Syrian men, women and children in hard-to-reach locations, including close to 600,000 in 18 besieged locations."

Security situation in South Sudan city "remains volatile" 

The security situation in the city of Wau in South Sudan remains volatile according to the UN mission there, UNMISS.

Renewed clashes between government forces and armed groups in the city and surrounding areas have caused tens of thousands of people to flee their homes.

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric has the latest.

"Heavy mortar shelling and machine gunfire was heard to the south of the UNMISS compound in Wau, prompting an additional 200 to 250 people to flee to the protection area adjacent to the UNMISS base, where an estimated 19,000 internally displaced people continue to shelter."

The UN Special Representative for the country Ellen Margrethe Loej said she will travel to Wau on Saturday to assess the situation.

She continued to call for an end to violence for the sake of the civilians, who she said have "suffered far too much for far too long."

Somalia mission tasked with reducing "threat posed by Al-Shabaab"

An African Union-led peacekeeping mission in Somalia has been tasked by the UN Security Council "to reduce the threat posed by Al-Shabaab and other armed opposition groups."

The Council's role is to set strategic objectives for the mission known as AMISOM, including containing the threat from terrorist groups and facilitating the Somali political process.

On Thursday, the mission's mandate was extended until the end of May next year.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 2’06″

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